The Tulane 34 Award is among the most coveted university-wide honors bestowed upon graduating students. Named for the year Tulane University was founded, the award recognizes 34 students from across the university who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate lives by demonstrating exemplary leadership, service and academic excellence.
This year, seven graduates of the A. B. Freeman School of Business were honored with the award. The Freeman School is proud to recognize the following Tulane 34 Award recipients.
Briggs Barrios(BSM ’14), a native of Metairie, La., is a member of the Tulane varsity baseball team and was twice named Tulane Male Scholar Athlete of the Year for maintaining the highest grade point average among all male student athletes. Barrios’ academic performance led to his being selected to participate in the invitation-only Darwin Fenner Student Managed Fund honors seminar. Outside the classroom, Barrios organized the Tulane baseball team’s Vs. Cancer events, which raised more than $10,000 for childhood cancer treatment. For his activities, Barrios was awarded a 2014 Tulane Athletics Torch Award for excellence in service to Tulane Athletics, Tulane University and the entire New Orleans community.
Erynn Bell(MBA ’14), from Jacksonville, Fla., served as 2013-14 president of the Graduate Business Council, the Freeman School’s graduate student government organization, and was named the 2014 MBA class representative to the Freeman 50, an organization of recent MBA graduates that works to support the school in the areas of career management, development and alumni relations. Bell participated in the Renewable Energy Case Competition and in the IDEAcorps Challenge, which brought teams of students from top MBA programs around the country to New Orleans to work with startups. Following her wedding, Bell will join Tidewater Inc. in New Orleans as manager of corporate applications.
Amber Bennett(BSM ’14), a native of West Columbia, S.C., is a member of Tulane’s volleyball team and was elected as Tulane’s female representative to the Conference USA Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Among her many service activities, Bennett chaired the “Let’s SAAC Hunger!” food drive, helped organize Conference USA fundraising efforts for paralyzed Tulane football player Devon Walker, and served as a volunteer with Court Watch NOLA and the NCAA Samaritan’s Feet program. In recognition of her activities, Bennett received the Conference USA Spirit of Service Award. Academically, Bennett earned honors including Dean’s List, 3.5 Club and the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
Adam Griego(BSM ’14), a native of Metairie, La., served in multiple campus leadership positions during his academic career, including serving as president of the Green Wave Ambassadors in 2012, president of the Inter-fraternity Council in 2013, homecoming king in 2013, and Orientation team leader for the classes of 2015 and 2016. In addition, Griego was an active member of Zeta Psi fraternity and served as past philanthropy chair and social chair with the organization. An honors student, Griego also served as a research equity analyst for the Freeman School’s Burkenroad Reports program in 2013-14.
Zachary Hoyt (BSM ’14), a native of Delran, N.J., graduated with a BSM in finance, a minor in Legal Studies and specializations in entrepreneurship and energy. He also earned a BA in Latin American studies. Hoyt served as a Burkenroad Reports analyst, was vice president of membership for business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, and was finance chair of Tulane’s Latin American Studies Organization. He also presented his research at a number of Latin American Studies conferences. A Public Service Fellow, Hoyt worked with 10 education-based community partners dedicated to engaging youth in the community and represented the Tulane delegation to the Model Organization of American States.
Tommy Milburn (MFIN ’14), from Warwick, N.Y., created, managed and was a frequent contributor to the Tulane Master of Finance blog and served as an MFIN Student Ambassador, helping prospective students learn more about Tulane through campus tours, emails and phone calls. Milburn was a member of the Freeman Consulting Group, the Tulane Black MBA Association and the Tulane Energy Club. Outside the classroom, Milburn volunteered at Joseph A. Craig Elementary School, helping to teach children about the vital role they and their families play in the local economy. Milburn will soon join the Deutsche Bank’s Emerging Markets Immersion Program as an investment banking analyst in Mumbai, India.
Klara Vyskocilova (BSM ’14), a native of Klatovy, Czech Republic, excelled as a scholar athlete on the Tulane tennis team. Vyskocilova was Louisiana Player of the Year in 2013 and played in the All-American Tournament twice. She was named Conference USA Player of the Week on two occasions and was a member of the 2013 Conference USA Honor Roll and the 2014 Conference USA Women’s Tennis All-Academic Team. Vyskocilova also worked on the Greening Yulman project, which aimed to help Tulane build a more environmentally friendly football stadium.
The Freeman School congratulates each of its 2014 Tulane 34 Award winners.
The following student awards were announced in conjunction with the Freeman School’s undergraduate and graduate-level diploma ceremonies, which took place on Saturday, May 17, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome following the unified commencement ceremony.
BSM Scholastic Achievement Award Established in 1997, the BSM Scholastic Achievement Award recognizes excellence in academics and is presented to the graduate of the BSM program with the highest cumulative grade-point average. This year, three students tied for the award.
• Hannah Hausman
• Courtney M. Kulchin
• Rachel M. Spirer
Marta and Peter Bordeaux Scholastic Achievement Award
Established in 1987 by Marta and Peter Bordeaux to recognize excellence in academics, this award is presented to the graduate of the Master of Business Administration program with the highest cumulative grade point average.
• David Scott Bode
Roger L. Cornelius Award Established in 1967 by the Tulane Graduate School of Business in honor of Roger L. Cornelius, a 1961 West Point graduate and a 1965 Master of Business Administration alumnus who died shortly after graduation, this award commemorates Mr. Cornelius’ dedication to the highest standards of business scholarship and leadership. The award is based on a vote by MBA students, and it is presented to the graduating student in the MBA program who best exemplifies these qualities.
• Erynn Melissa Bell
Evelyn and William Burkenroad Award Established in 1982, the Evelyn and William Burkenroad Award recognizes the one graduating student in the Bachelor of Science in Management program who has an outstanding record of scholarship and personal integrity and whose activities have contributed to the professional, social and/or academic quality of the business program. The recipient is chosen by the senior class. This year, two students tied for the Burkenroad Award.
• Evan James Golden
• Stephan J. Lee
Dean’s Service Award Established in 1991, this award recognizes those graduating students who, in the opinion of the administrative staff and the dean, have added dimension to the school through outstanding contributions of time and effort.
• Benjamin Briggs Barrios (BSM)
• Emilia Bates Anderson (MBA)
• Erynn Melissa Bell (MBA)
• James Edwin Dunn III (MBA)
• Tyler Andrew Hardin (MBA)
• George Denegre Hopkins III (MBA)
• Wanyue Jiang (MFIN)
• Kathryn Leithead Mick (MBA)
• Sturgis Martin Sobin II (MME)
Tulane Association of Business Alumni Award Established to recognize outstanding graduates of the school’s degree programs, this award is presented to students who rank in the top 10 percent of their classes and, in the opinion of the dean, the administrative staff and the officers of the Tulane Association of Business Alumni, have displayed exceptional intellectual ability, leadership, self-motivation and a sense of responsibility to peers, the school and the community.
• Annie Morgan Bindler (BSM)
• Megan Elizabeth Baumgartner (MACCT)
• Leigh Ann Rodriguez Benesch (Houston Executive MBA)
• Timothy Kyle Johnston (Houston Professional MBA)
• Joseph Anthony Laine (New Orleans Professional MBA)
• Ezequiel Massaglia (New Orleans Executive MBA)
• Kathryn Leithead Mick (MBA)
• Lynda Ruth Clemmons (Houston MFIN)
• Paul Michael Gibson (Houston MFIN)
• Mudassir Nazir (MFIN)
• Bryce Armonde Robertson (MME)
TABA Community Service Award Established in 1993 by the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship and conducted in partnership with the Tulane Association of Business Alumni, this award recognizes those graduates who, under the auspices of the institute and mentored by TABA members, have completed at least 25 hours of pro bono service with a disadvantaged business or a not-for-profit organization in the New Orleans area.
Bachelor of Science in Management:
• Elizabeth Cherrick
• Max Cron
• Laura Fromm
• Xuran Nie
• Laura Stokes
• Benjamin Warshaw
• Becky Wong
Master of Accounting:
• Lijun Chen
• Crystal Marie Tice
Master of Business Administration:
• Selma Abdelmoniem Alamin
• James O’Keith Allen
• Ahmed Ossama Abdelwahed Almassry
• Thomas James Altman
• Emilia Bates Anderson
• Erynn Melissa Bell
• Garrett Charles Bludau
• David Scott Bode
• Kevin Alonzo Bratcher
• Olga Lucia Bustamante
• Christopher James Cobb
• Frank Williamson Darden
• Jordan Gregory Dorenfeld
• Paul Wolfram Fischer
• Vanessa Michel Gerard
• Varun Kumar Gurusamy Dorairaj
• Cortney Cole Hall
• Parker Earl Koerner
• Adrian Mendez
• Vinay Mohan
• Samra Nawaz
• Lydia Ruth Adamma Onimo
• Katherine Victoria Sharp
• Sarah Catherine Turner
Master of Global Management
• Andrew Clay Mouton
Tulane 34 The Tulane 34 Award is presented to 34 graduates who have distinguished themselves throught their collegiate life. Students are recognized for their exemplary leadership, service and academic excellence. Named for the year the university was founded, 1834, Tulane 34 is among the most coveted university-wide honors bestowed upon students. In recognition of Scott Cowen’s service to and leadership of Tulane University, 35 students were honored in 2014. Of the 35 students honored, seven were graduates of the A. B. Freeman School of Business.
• Briggs Barrios (BSM)
• Amber Bennett (BSM)
• Adam Griego (BSM)
• Zachary Hoyt (BSM)
• Klara Vyskocilova (BSM)
• Erynn Melissa Bell (MBA)
• Henry Thomas Milburn III (MFIN)
Allen R. Vorholt Memorial Award
Established in 1988 by the Executive Master of Business Administration graduating class and the Freeman School faculty and administration to honor Allen R. Vorholt, this award recognizes Mr. Vorholt’s outstanding executive qualities as exemplified in his leadership, his scholarship, his ability to balance priorities and his strong sense of civic obligation. Selection is based on student vote and the award is presented to a classmate who epitomizes these qualities.
On June 5, 1918, in a ceremony at the French Opera House in New Orleans, Tulane University’s College of Commerce and Business Administration awarded degrees to its first graduating class. There was one graduate.
Ahmed Al-Massry, Thomas Altman and Emilia Anderson, left to right, were three of 117 graduates who received Master of Business Administration degrees at the Freeman School’s Graduate Diploma Ceremony.
When the A. B. Freeman School of Business awarded degrees to the graduating class of 2014, it was a very different scene. More than 700 students representing eight distinct degree programs and more than two dozen countries received diplomas this year, making the ceremony one of the largest and most diverse in school history.
The Freeman School’s 2014 graduate diploma ceremony took place on May 17 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome immediately following the unified commencement ceremony. This year’s graduating classes included 300 Bachelor of Science in Management graduates, 52 Master of Accounting graduates, 117 Master of Business Administration graduates, 201 Master of Finance graduates, 18 Master of Global Management graduates, 51 Master of Management graduates, 37 Master of Management in Energy graduates and one Doctor of Philosophy graduate.
Master of Finance graduate Zemin Zhu gives a shout out to friends and family.
“Today’s commencement exercises celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates and reaffirm Tulane’s longstanding commitment to outstanding teaching, research, and service,” said Paul Spindt, senior associate dean, who presided over the ceremony for Dean Ira Solomon, who was in Illinois to attend his daughter’s graduation from law school.
Joining Spindt on the platform were Cameron Berthelsen, 2014-15 vice president of the Graduate Business Council; Chris Bonura (MBA ’09), president of the Tulane Association of Business Alumni; Peter Ricchiuti, professor of practice and school marshal; John Koerner (L ’69, MBA ’70), member of the Business School Council and emeritus member of the Board of Tulane; Geoffrey Parker, professor of management science and school marshal; Charles Swanson, member of the Business School Council; and Clif Brown, associate dean.
Maria Luisa Plaut shows off her just-received Master of Global Management diploma.
“This year’s graduates, like those who came before and those who will come after, have completed rigorous, state-of-the-art courses of study,” Spindt continued. “They have been challenged to make a positive impact on society using the knowledge and skills learned and honed here at Freeman. I have no doubt that they will be successful, making us proud to recognize them over the coming years as members of the Freeman and Tulane families.”
David Bode earned this year’s Marta and Peter Bordeaux Scholastic Achievement Award, which is awarded to the MBA graduate with the highest cumulative grade point average, while three BSM graduates — Hannah Hausman, Courtney M. Kulchin and Rachel M. Spirer — shared the BSM Scholastic Achievement Award, which recognizes the BSM graduate with the highest cumulative GPA.
Eryn Bell, outgoing president of the Graduate Business Council, earned the Roger L. Cornelius Award, which is awarded by the MBA class in recognition of the graduating student who best exemplifies business scholarship and leadership.
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the leading accrediting body for university business education, has approved the re-accreditation of all degree programs at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business.
In May, the A. B. Freeman School of Business was informed that it had successfully completed its re-accreditation process.
The re-accreditation culminates a yearlong process in which a team of deans from peer institutions conducted a review of nearly all facets of school operations. In addition to studying data submitted by the school, the re-accreditation team visited the campus in December 2013 to meet with constituents and collect additional information.
“Our last re-accreditation took place in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, so it really wasn’t a full and comprehensive AACSB review,” said Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School. “In a sense, this is the first rigorous review we’ve undergone in a decade, so it’s very gratifying to learn that our peer review team shares the belief that we’re moving in the right direction and accomplishing the goals we set out to achieve.”
While accredited institutions are required to demonstrate that they meet certain specific standards of excellence, Associate Dean Clifton E. Brown said the process is less about compliance and more about ensuring that schools remain committed to continuous improvement.
“A main focus is whether we have processes in place that will successfully achieve our strategy and goals, particularly our learning and research goals, and whether we have processes that allow us to employ continuous improvement,” said Brown, who coordinated the re-accreditation process. “So its focus is on improvement, basically.”
In notifying Dean Solomon of its decision to extend accreditation, Robert Sullivan, chair of AACSB’s Board of Directors, commended the Freeman School for six specific strengths and effective practices.
• Development of a strategic plan
• Commitment to experiential learning
• Implementation of the MBA Global Leadership Module
• Ongoing programs with international partner schools
• Extraordinary efforts on the part of faculty and staff in the wake of Hurricane Katrina
• Integration of nodes of excellence and comparative advantages across all programs
The extension of accreditation is for five additional years. The Freeman School’s next Continuous Improvement Review will take place in 2018-2019.
Founded in 1916, AACSB International is the longest-serving global accrediting body for collegiate schools of business. The A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University is one of the 16 founding members of the association. Today, nearly 100 years later, AACSB accreditation has become the internationally recognized hallmark of excellence in business education, with fewer than 5 percent of the world’s business programs earning the prestigious certification.
Three Freeman School students recently earned top honors at the 2014 Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference.
Freeman School students Daniel Goldbaum, Benjamin Ginsburg and Melissa Benenson, left to right, each earned medals at Collegiate DECA’s International Career Development Conference.
The conference, which took place in Washington D.C. in April from April 23–26, was sponsored by DECA, an international organization that prepares students for careers with events designed to enable participants to apply classroom learning to real-world experiences. More than 1,300 students took part in wide range of competitions and other business activities at the conference.
Freeman School sophomore Benjamin Ginsburg (BSM ’16), president of the Tulane chapter of DECA, was a big winner, earning a prize of $1,000 for being named International Champion in the Banking Financial Services event.
Also earning medals at the conference were Daniel Goldbaum (BSM ’16), a finalist in the Corporate Finance event, and Melissa Benenson (BSM ’16), a finalist in the Travel and Tourism event.
In addition to their competitions, Ginsburg and Goldbaum also participated in DECA’s Finance and Accounting Professional Development Academy and Benenson, the Louisiana Collegiate DECA State President, participated in the Hospitality and Tourism Academy and the Entrepreneurship Challenge.
This year marked Tulane University’s first time participating in the conference. Other schools that took part in this year’s event included George Washington University, the University of Notre Dame, Michigan State University and Rutgers University.
Assistant Professor of Accounting Kris Hoang has been named the 2014 recipient of the Freeman Student Government (FSG) Teaching Award. The award, which was previously known as the Howard W. Wissner Award for Undergraduate Teaching, is presented annually by the FSG Executive Board in recognition of professors in the Bachelor of Science in Management program who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the education of students.
All faculty members who taught a for-credit course in the preceding academic year are eligible to be nominated for the award. From those nominations, three professors are chosen by a vote of the undergraduate student body. The FSG Executive Board then selects the winner from those finalists.
Hoang was recognized for her teaching in Managerial Accounting, which emphasizes the role of accounting information in management decision-making and strategy.
“I really treat the whole course as language acquisition,” Hoang says. “This is the language of business and until you have some mastery of that language, it’s really hard to have a conversation at the board room table about the big strategic decisions that need to be made. That’s how I try to appeal to students who may not be pursuing further studies in accounting but who are definitely going to be using these concepts to navigate the professional world, whether they’re executives, lawyers or politicians.”
Hoang joined the Freeman School in 2012 after completing her PhD at the University Of Alberta’s School Of Business. Her research examines the judgment and decision making behavior of managers, directors and auditors in corporate governance settings. She studies how auditor-client relationships impact financial reporting. Prior to beginning her academic career, she provided auditing services and developed corporate governance resources for clients at Deloitte in Toronto.
It was advertised as the “Party of the Century,” and for the more than 650 alumni, faculty and staff members, and guests who turned out, the Freeman School’s Centennial Celebration just might have lived up to that billing.
After more than a year of planning, the long-awaited celebration took place on Friday (May 2) at the Pavilion of the Two Sisters in New Orleans’ City Park. Festive spirits, a gorgeous setting and spectacular spring weather combined for a very special evening honoring the Freeman School’s 100 years of business education.
In attendance were alumni from across the U.S. as well as Great Britain, Mexico and Colombia. Classes represented at the party, which also honored alumni celebrating milestone graduation anniversaries, spanned 1956 to 2013.
A 100th anniversary only comes around once in most people’s lives, so nothing was spared to make the celebration a memorable event. The evening featured an incredible menu of New Orleans classics — including oysters en brochette, crab cakes, turtle soup, crawfish pasta, mini roast beef debris po-boys, sno balls and more — as well as an open bar serving beer, wine, cocktails and the Freeman Centini, a custom-crafted cocktail — in Freeman School blue — created especially for the centennial by “Cocktail Chick” Ti Martin (MBA ’84), co-proprietor of the Commander’s Family of Restaurants, which includes Commander’s Palace, Café Adelaide and SoBou in New Orleans and Brennan’s of Houston.
Attendees danced to music from the Boogie Men, a nine-piece band whose repertoire spans six decades, and enjoyed special attractions including a giant outdoor screen showing vintage Freeman School photos, a timeline display highlighting significant events in school history, life-size cardboard cutouts of favorite Freeman professors, and a photo booth for friends and alumni to take souvenir pictures.
During a brief program, Dean Ira Solomon greeted alumni and guests and introduced Centennial Co-chair Jay Lapeyre (MBA/JD ’78), who announced that he and co-chair Frank B. Stewart Jr. (BBA ’57) had helped raise $520,000 for the Freeman Centennial Scholarship Initiative. Next, Jenny Kottler (A&S ’83, MBA ’84), speaking on behalf of this year’s reunion chairs, presented a check for $112,000, representing the collective gifts of this year’s reunion classes, which included the graduate classes of ’09, ’04, ’99, ’94, ’89, ’84, ’79, ’74, ’69 and ’64.
But fundraising wasn’t the focus of this special evening. Before leading guests in a rendition of “Happy Birthday” and cutting the cake, Solomon thanked everyone in attendance and proclaimed that with their support and engagement, the Freeman School’s next 100 years promises to be even more exciting than its first.
Two A. B. Freeman School of Business students have been honored by Tulane University for combining outstanding athletic success with exceptional performance in the classroom.
Claire Schelske (BSM ’15) was named the Tulane Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award, while Brandon Schmidt (BSM ’15) was named Tulane Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The awards were presented at the Tulane Athletics Banquet, which took place on April 27 in the Lavin-Bernick Center.
Schelske is a repeat winner of the Tulane Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. She also earned the award in 2013. A member of the Green Wave swimming & diving team, she produced top times in seven events and was a key component on five of the Wave’s medley relay teams. In the classroom, Schelske has maintained a 3.981 GPA as a finance and management major and is a three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll and Tulane 3.0 Club. She has also received the Conference USA Academic Medal on three occasions.
A member of the Green Wave football team, Schmidt played in nine games this past season, primarily on special teams, logging three tackles and helping Tulane to a berth in the 2013 New Orleans Bowl. Off the field, he has maintained a 4.0 GPA as a finance major and is a three-time recipient of the Conference USA Academic Medal, the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll, the Tulane 3.0 Club and Dean’s List.
A Texas-based convenience store chain was sold just three days after its executives presented to investors at the 18th Annual Burkenroad Reports Investment Conference. Susser Holdings Corp., parent company of Stripes Convenience Stores, was acquired for $1.8 billion by Energy Transfer Partners. Susser Holdings also controls Susser Petroleum Partners, one of the largest wholesale fuel distributors in Texas.
E. V. “Chip” Bonner, executive vice president of Susser Holdings, speaks at last Friday’s Burkenroad Reports Investment Conference. Photo by Stephen Daigle.
The Burkenroad Conference, which took place on Friday (April 25) at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, is an annual event that highlights companies covered by Burkenroad Reports, a program of the A. B. Freeman School of Business that publishes investment analysis reports on small-cap companies headquartered in the South. Since its founding in 1993, 29 companies covered by the program have been bought out, with Susser being the fifth in the last 10 months.
Program founder and director Peter Ricchiuti says it’s no coincidence.
“These deals don’t happen overnight, so they must’ve been working on it for a while, but Susser still came to the conference to present,” said Ricchiuti, who is the William B. Burkenroad Jr. Professor of Practice at the business school.
Of the five companies bought this year, four of them got extensive exposure through Ricchiuti’s recently released book about the Burkenroad Reports, Stocks Under Rocks.
It was Susser’s business model and financial performance, examined in depth by the Burkenroad students, which attracted Energy Transfer Partners.
“We looked at the Susser business model to capitalize on the strong economy and favorable demographic trends of Texas,” Jamie Welch, chief financial officer of Energy Transfer Equity, told the Wall Street Journal.
Thirty-four companies presented research at the conference to a record attendance of 750 people; about half were professional investors and the rest were individuals looking for investment ideas on their own. The Hancock Horizon Burkenroad Mutual Fund also uses the program’s student-produced research.
“Most investors own mutual funds that tend to own the same large-cap stocks, and these kinds of companies are not only interesting but provide some diversification,” Ricchiuti said.